Homework Over Winter Break? You Got That Right.

Ten Things Students Should Do In Between “Games of Thrones” Episodes
By Kate Szumanski

With finals approaching, now isn’t the best time for students – this means you – to think about your career and professional development is it? There are deadlines to meet, tests to study for, and papers to write.

But during winter break when free time’s a plenty, there is serious homework to be done, only this homework is ungraded and “counts” for much more than a grade on your report card.

There is career and professional development homework to complete, and winter break is the ideal time to focus on this area.

Here are the Top 10 things you should do during your winter break to be best prepared to hit those spring career fairs strong when you return to campus.

(And parents of college students who are reading this, you can help spread the word and encourage your son or daughter to take serious action before a new semester begins.)

  1. Create a killer résumé. It’s true: your résumé is your sales pitch. If written right, it has the power to convincingly “sell” your abilities, experiences, and skills to a future internship supervisor or employer. Review résumé samples. Identify what you like. Build your résumé to represent you.
  1. Memorize your elevator pitch. So we meet at a career fair and after we exchange pleasantries about the weather and if the Philadelphia Phillies will trade Cole Hamels, where does the conversation go? If you are asked about you – your interests, your focus, your mission, your purpose – what do you say? Write and memorize your elevator pitch, the 30-second introduction that will captivate and convince the person on the receiving end that you are a serious student with fascinating interests and tremendous value looking to build a career and contribute in meaningful ways to an organization’s mission.
  1. Google “common interview questions.” It might seem silly, but do it. Research the typical questions hiring managers’ ask during interviews and brainstorm compelling answers. Never be caught off guard again during an interview.
  1. Include an e-mail signature to all outgoing mail. After you sign your e-mail messages, do you include a professional signature line that directs recipient’s to your Twitter handle, Web site, or other relevant contact information? No? Do it moving forward. It’s like including a business card in an e-mail every time you hit “send.”
  1. Get a handle on Twitter. I’m consistently surprised by the low number of students who use Twitter to not only research industries, but also to build their personal brands. Twitter allows you to converse and connect with industry professionals, keep updated on trends in public discourse, and stay current on all things. Contribute to the conversations related to your emerging area of expertise by becoming active on Twitter.
  1. Write a cover letter template. Yes, all cover letters should be customized and tailored to each opportunity for which you apply. But that doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch each time. Build a meaningful cover letter that you can revise quickly.
  1. Create your Linked In profile. Perhaps you already have a Linked In profile, but you haven’t visited it in months. Or maybe you don’t have a Linked in profile yet. Now’s the time to edit it or create it. And with powerful resources like these at your fingertips, there’s no good reason to say you don’t know where to start.
  1. Cleanse your social media presence. Increasingly, employers, hiring managers, and interviewers will google candidates who’ve applied for positions before extending an invitation to meet. What does your public social media presence say about you? Does it convey a powerful image of a creative problem-solver and critical-thinker seeking to grow her professional career and take on the world, or does it convey an image of someone who’s been out too late at one too many parties? Remove inappropriate content. Enable the privacy settings on your Facebook page. Be smart about social media and understand its power to influence. It’s a hard truth: people will judge you without knowing you. Don’t give them any reason to judge you in an unfavorable light.
  1. Invest in stationery. When your Aunt Mary sends you a lovely holiday sweater, do you thank her in writing with a courteous and warm note? No? Well, you should. Rarely am I so forceful, but I encourage all students to be the one – maybe the only one – who sends a hand-written thank-you note to someone who has helped you, encouraged you, interviewed you, gave you a cup pf water while you waited for your interview to start, etc. Now, don’t go overboard and thank everyone for every common courtesy, but be smart and savvy. Express gratitude appropriately. If you are the candidate who sends the note, you’ll be remembered. And in our electronic age, those hand-written notes are all the more meaningful.
  1. Buy a suit. Are you comfortable in your interview attire? Right now, yoga pants and jeans are your staples, and that’s perfectly fine. But when you begin to interview for internships or jobs, you’ll need clothing that serves many purposes. You want to feel confident and comfortable in your skin. You want to send a professional message to the person across the table. For men or women, a suit that comes with its requisite component parts can help you begin to gradually build a professional wardrobe. Keep it on the conservative side. Black and navy blue are staples. Women easily can add a pop of color with an appropriate blouse, and men can add just a touch of color (again, think conservative here) with their choice of necktie. And you shouldn’t spend a lot of money here – there’s no need.

Whew. By now, you’re exhausted. You’re hoping to find the remote to see if Mom or Dad DVR-ed “Sons of Anarchy.”

Remember, no one said winter break homework would be easy, right?

And newsflash! Did you know that there’s extra credit available, too? Yes, I said extra credit.

For the ultra-motivated and ambitious, take on these challenges:

  1. Send your first Tweet.
  2. Connect with someone you know on Linked In.
  3. Research potential internships and apply to those that most interest you.
  4. Buy a roll of stamps.
  5. Write a thank-you note and mail it. (See #4 for stamps!)

Got it? Excellent. I know you do.

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University, and in the Office of Undergraduate Students, we teach our students – liberally educated young adults – to be adaptable, nimble, and flexible students and professionals who contribute powerfully to society.

We want our students to realize their full potential, to discover their passions and to pursue them with relentless determination. Maybe it’s through an internship. Maybe it’s through a professional development course. Maybe it’s through one of our many professional development events. Discovering who you are and what your impact can be should help define your Villanova journey.

When you return to campus in 2015, encourage our students to visit the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107 often. Discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Let our office of dedicated professionals help you on your journey of discovery.

Kate Szumanski, ’95, ’97, is the associate director for experiential education in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Follow her on Twitter @KateSzumanski.    


Think Internships and Join the #InternNation

By Kate Szumanski ’95, ’97


Career-building, mentoring, networking. You’ve heard the terms over and over again. How can you as a student –right now – actually “do” these things?

Think internships.

Now more than ever, internships provide you with tremendous value. From gaining real-world experience in a variety of fields to collaborating with diverse professionals and expanding your network, internships allow you to experience the workplace as an insider – a true participant.

The value of an internship cannot be denied. You can experiment and test the waters. You can learn how to apply your academic experiences to a variety of careers, and begin to understand where you fit, what you like, and what you don’t.

In addition, many employers consider their own interns ideal candidates for full-time positions.

Where should you start your internship search? Visit GoNovaJobs. Here you’ll find opportunities and application instruction.

If you seek to earn academic credit for your internship, please visit me, Kate Szumanski, in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in SAC 107. I look forward to discussing with you everything you need to do to secure credit for your internship.

In the coming days, our office will host a series of Internship Workshops designed to fuel your passions and ignite you on your professional journey. Be on the lookout for those dates, times, and locations.

Kate Szumanski, ’95, ’97, is the associate director for experiential education in the Office for Undergraduate Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. Follow her on Twitter @KateSzumanski.    

Web Designer Internship with Wayne United Methodist Church

The Web Designer is responsible for supporting Wayne United Methodist Church with web design, social media, and digital ministry. Specifically, this position will assist with the website and Facebook pages. This involves publishing content on a frequent (daily/weekly) basis, incorporating feedback from various church committees (Missions, Youth, Music, Trustees, etc.) related to their respective webpages, and making recommendations related to design best practices and social media strategies.

Working knowledge of HTML and CSS is preferred. This position will also have the flexibility to suggest design changes on the website (www.wayneumc.org) based on the best practices of other similar churches.

The ideal candidate will possess:
1.) Strong knowledge of online publishing and digital marketing
2.) Working knowledge of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Youtube)
3.) Familiarity with blogging and blog platforms (WordPress and tumblr)
4.) Enthusiasm and support of the United Methodist Church mission
5.) Above average writing skills

The candidate must be reliable and professional. In addition, the ideal candidate must be able to handle multiple tasks at once, and be able to transform their creative vision into results. This position requires the ability to work under tight deadlines, sometimes with little supervision.

Reporting Responsibilities: the Web Designer will report to the Senior Pastor with dotted line reporting relationship to the Chairperson, Technology Committee. This person may also have to attend and report to staff meetings, as well as the Administrative Council meetings on an as needed basis.

Hours per week: Schedule and hours are negotiable as related to requirements for intern credits. Ideal length would be Spring, Summer and Fall terms (12-15 weeks).
This is an unpaid internship but may qualify for college credits.

Interested students should contact contact Mike Sticklin at 610-719-1326 or email him at sticklinmike@gmail.com.

Mary’s Gift Irish Language Foundation, Inc. – Intern, Assistant Director

Mary’s Gift Irish Language Foundation, Inc. 

Assistant Director (part-time, unpaid, virtual)

Woodcliff Lake, NJ

Mary’s Gift raises money in the US to support private Irish-language immersion schools (where the entire curriculum is taught through the medium of the Irish language) in Northern Ireland.  Mary’s Gift is a non-profit corporation and IRS-registered 501(c)(3) public charity.

The intern would serve as assistant to the Assistant Executive Director, with the title of Assistant Director.  Tasks would include assisting in the preparation of correspondence to donors, to applicant Irish schools, and to the media; editorial and creative review of the Foundation’s website; creating and updating donor databases; updating and preparing content for the Foundation’s blog and Facebook page; preparing applications to donor organizations; and assisting in the transfer and maintenance of the Foundation’s funds.

The intern will work out of the offices of the law firm of Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C. which would also provide administrative support to the intern.  The intern would meet weekly with the Assistant Executive Director to review tasks and accomplishments.  Hours are flexible and most of the work could be performed off site.  The Foundation would reimburse the intern for expenses, like the cost of travel to meetings.

Location: Woodcliff Lake, NJ (20 miles northwest of Manhattan)

Prior Interns: John Cicchitti ’15,  Alyssa Murphy ’12

Qualifications:  Class of 2015 or 2016 must be in Summer Internship Program to apply.

To apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter to:



Michael K. Breen, Esq.
Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C.
Mack-Cali Corporate Center
50 Tice Boulevard – 3rd Floor
Woodcliff Lake, NJ  07677
Skype 201-391-3737

For more information, please visit www.marysgift.org

 Compensation:  This is an unpaid internship.       Housing:  This is a virtual internship.

Internships at UnitedHealth Group

If you want an intern experience that will dramatically shape your career, consider a company that’s dramatically shaping our entire health care system. UnitedHealth Group internship opportunities will provide a hands-on view of a rapidly evolving, incredibly challenging marketplace of ideas, products and services. You’ll work side by side with some of the smartest people in the business on assignments that matter. So here we are. You have a lot to learn. We have a lot to do.  It’s the perfect storm. And even better? Join us and you may end up staying for a career in which you can do your life’s best work.

This exciting opportunity places you on the front end of project management where you will have the opportunity to work with four Sr. Project Managers across multiple locations in a fast-paced environment.  You will learn how to run a project and gain exposure to different project management styles.

If you are interested in this great opportunity, please complete the application located on our website by following the directions listed below.

  1. Visit the following link: UnitedHealth Group College
  2. Select the “Project Manager Intern – Horsham, PA – June 2014 ” position.  It is job ID 554508.
  3. Select “apply online” for the role (located at the bottom of the page)
  4. Follow prompts to create your profile. If you are a first-time user, you will need to create a user name and password. Please keep these for your records.
  5. Complete the application and select submit.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania internship positions


The Republican Party of Pennsylvania is currently seeking to fill several internship positions.

Internships are available for the summer or fall semesters and will provide students with invaluable experience in campaigning. Interns will work closely our field staff, gaining a first-hand understanding of a campaign field program while having the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to become a successful political operative.

Interested students should send a resume to Perry Bentley, the Southeastern Regional Field Director, at: pbentley@pagop.org.

Vizion Group Public Relations/Marketing Internship

RESPONSIBILITIES: Interns at the Vizion Group PR are expected to support staffers with key responsibilities surrounding the implementation of PR plans for sports and entertainment events. Includes creation and maintenance of media outlet list databases, research, writing, social media outreach and direct contact with traditional media. Intern must be self-motivated to fit in as a focused operative and a team player. Management makes significant effort to providing challenging tasks in addition to requiring basic intern work. Some specific responsibilities include:

  •  Research
  •  Press Release Writing
  •  Fact Sheet Writing
  •  Brochure Copy Writing
  •  Administrative Duties
  •  Media Contact
  •  Transcribing Audio Tapes
  •  Event Staffing
  •  Information Dissemination
  •  Report Compilation
  •  Web Site Updating
  •  Intern Recruitment

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Vizion Group PR is a unit of Vizion Group, a unique company located in suburban Philadelphia with offices and associates in several cities, providing diverse services to a variety of commercial and non-profit clients. These include developing and executing fundraising programs, providing public relations and marketing services, producing conferences and developing initiatives that drive economic impact and tourism. Vizion Group is comprised of professionals who have diverse experience and are results-oriented.

HOURS: The Fall Internship runs in conjunction with the Fall semester. We have flexibility on dates and hours, as needed.

COMPENSATION: This is an unpaid internship with no travel reimbursement. We will fulfill all paperwork and evaluation requirements needed by those gaining academic credit.

QUALIFICATIONS: Communications or Marketing major desired. Writing and editing skills preferred.  Organizational, follow-through and meticulous attention to detail skills needed along with working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and basic Social Media.



Do you want to spend your summer learning from the best in the entertainment, news and sports advertising businesses? If your response is “yes”, then please consider a Summer Project Assistant position at Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc. This program provides great opportunities for significant learning experiences, as well as the chance to make lasting business contacts. Opportunities are available within our various sales and support groups, such as:

• Entertainment Networks (TBS, TNT)
• Sports (NBA on TNT, MLB on TBS, NCAA March Madness)
• Young Adults (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TruTV)
• Turner Digital (cnn.com, bleacherreport.com, etc.]
• Strategic Planning
• Research
• Marketing/Promotions
• Presentation Design

Fast Facts:

• Candidates should be undergraduate students who are entering their junior or senior years and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
• All students must remain enrolled in school for the entire length of the program.
• The positions are available in New York City during the summer session only.
• Positions are paid and students are expected to work normal business hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
• As this is a paid opportunity, we do not offer college credit.
• This is a ten-week program that goes from June 2, 2014 to August 8, 2014.

Application Deadline: March 26, 2014

Please take a few moments to complete the application linked below and return the form along with your resume, one letter of recommendation and a transcript (unofficial suffices) to the address below: Ms. Danielle Tadros – SAC 107 prior to 5pm on March 26th. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your interest in our Summer Project Assistant program.

Turner 2014 Application

NXTsports 2014 Summer Internship Program


NXTsports is seeking current college students interested in sports operations sports education and facilities management to serve as 2014 summer interns in the Philadelphia area. The paid internship will begin May 27 and run for eight weeks until July 25. Weekend work is required. NXT is looking for interns in three fields this summer. When submitting your résumé, please be sure to indicate which position(s) you are interested in.

1. Sports Education Internship with our Trashcan, Cradle and NXT Lacrosse programs will allow interns to gain experience with the planning, marketing and coaching of our boys youth lacrosse programs. Interns will also assist with educational social media campaigns, curriculum development and onsite camp operations.

2. Event Management & Operations Internship (NXTevents) will allow interns to play a vital role in the planning, marketing, organizing, managing and executing phases of our local and national summer lacrosse tournaments. Interns will develop a better understanding of the operations and logistics that go into running elite lacrosse events.

3. Facility Management Internship (NXT@EA) will give interns the opportunity to assist with the facility rental process which includes drafting communication materials, coordinating camp registrations, developing new marketing strategies, managing staff and providing support to the extracurricular activities being run at Episcopal Academy.

Desired Qualifications:

  • A current college student
  • Strong background in sports management, event planning or coaching
  • Possess excellent interpersonal, organizational and communicational skills¿
  • Have a strong work ethic and desire to succeed
  • A passion for sports. Lacrosse experience is not required.
  • Must have lodging in the Philadelphia area and access to transportation¿

For more information about NXTsports please visit http://www.iamnxt.com. To apply, send an introductory email, cover letter and résumé to: Kara Geiman, Director of Operations, NXTsports, Kara@iamnxt.com.

Internship Spotlight: GSA Impact Fellowship in the Mid Atlantic Region

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Impact Fellowship is designed to provide advanced students with occupational experience related to their academic course study in the area of public service. Fellows will gain direct insight of federal, state and local government interaction as part of the Office of the Regional Administrator with GSA’s Mid Atlantic Region.

Fellows will directly participate in a variety of activities to support individual programs. Projects and activities may include, but are not limited to: participating in high-level interagency meetings; coordinating meetings with external stakeholders; communicating with governmental agencies at local, state and federal levels; researching policy related topics; creating and managing collaborative tools including using social media networks; updating contact database; planning educational and cultural forums; developing messaging on a variety of topics; and, administrating front desk duties as needed.

GSA is currently accepting applications for the select Fellowship positions to begin May 2014. Invited Fellows must be available for four months and able to commit a minimum of 15 hours per week (Mon.-Thurs.) GSA may provide an option to extend the term of this fellowship by an additional four months. As a volunteer/non-paid position, Fellows must consent to a security background investigation upon selection and abide by the program agreement. Eligibility:

  • At least half-time student in good standing at an accredited post secondary learning institution.
  • Currently pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Bachelor’s degree candidates should be in their junior or senior year.
  • A student in a field of study that includes: public administration, business administration, communications, public policy, public relations and marketing, environmental management, journalism, law, literature, English, and IT.

GSA’s mission is to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for federal agency customers in support of their missions and to foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people. In the cover letter, answer why you are interested in becoming a GSA Impact Fellow and describe a specific or recent situation that drew on your decision making, planning, and organizing skills. Please share the outcome or result of the situation. Submit resume and cover letter via e-mail to pedro.viera@gsa.gov no later than March 28, 2014. Please write “GSA Impact Fellowship” in the subject of the e-mail submission. GSA is an equal opportunity employer, providing programs and services in a fair and impartial manner. For more information about GSA, please visit http://www.gsa.gov

For additional information: http://www.gsa.gov